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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mold Now A Concern for Childrens Library

It's typically where fictional characters spring to life in the imaginations of young readers. But Sunday morning staffers at the Fletcher Free Library had a tale to tell of a very real flood in the children's section.

"This room was full of water. The water seeped right down, went right down the walls and landed over in the children's non-fiction section," said the library's Robert Resnik.

The pros are blaming a pipe in the attic -- right above Resnik's office. A release valve broke and the pipe burst, sending gallons of water cascading down the walls of the 108 year old Carnegie building and drenching upwards of 2-thousand children's books.

And now mold is the new concern. "Because you have all of these books lined up in a row, if you start getting a moldy spot, it doesn't stop there, it continues down the line," Resnik said.

On Monday clean-up crews pumped up the heat to dry the place out. The goal is to detect hidden wet spots then use vacuums to suck up the excess water lurking in the ceiling. Resnick says it's still too early to put a price tag on the damage but he hopes insurance money will help pay to replace the damaged books. "Chances are, they are things that can be re-ordered pretty quickly," he said.

Past the drenched children's section is the local history room. Here there are tons of irreplaceable documents and librarians say they're counting their lucky stars nothing was damaged. "We would have been in real trouble because a lot of that stuff is one-of-a-kind or old books that don't exist in print anymore, so it would have been really, really hard to replace," Resnik said. "I would have been probably crying. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it."

The silver lining to a soggy story. But like most children's books, Resnik says the ending has a simple message applicable to all ages: "This is just something to remind us to be thankful and to be grateful and to watch out what you do and keep your eyes on the pipes."

The library plans to re-open Tuesday with the exception of the children's section. That will remain closed for at least another week while the clean-up is completed.

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